Shockingly, two people have been pronounced dead as a result of the deadly Toronto shooting. A child was reported critically injured early this morning, but it has not been confirmed whether she is the second victim.
Our hearts go out the families, as Toronto police say the girl is just eight or nine years old and was injured along with 12 others.
The shooting took place in the city’s Greektown district when a large crowd was walking down the street.
The motive behind the attack is unknown, but it has been reported that the shooter targeted at least two cafes or restaurants, according to BBC News.
Witnesses describe the chaotic scene on #Danforth Ave as the man was shooting into various restaurants as he walked along the road. The suspect is dead, 14 victims shot, one woman is dead. Young girl in critical condition.#torontoshooting#greektownpic.twitter.com/s7rfPby3lM
— Jaro Giesbrecht(@JaroGiesbrecht) July 23, 2018
Canadian media has footage of the alleged shooter. He has been described as a white male with a dark baseball hat and dark clothing, carrying a shoulder bag. He is shown pulling out a handgun before firing.
The Globe and Mail reported that the gunman terrified civilians in a cafe called the Demetres when he opened fire and injured customers. He also fired into a crowd waiting to cross the street.
The paper interviewed one of the witnesses, Andrew Matzios, who was in this crowd when he saw the shooter coming towards them.
‘He had this horrible expression on his face,' Andrew recalled the experience with horror.
While pedestrians desperately ducked for cover, the gunman continued his frightening rampage, firing into businesses as he passed.
Police verified that the shooter was killed but have not confirmed if he shot himself or was gunned down by officers.
— Vinnie Politan (@VinniePolitan) July 23, 2018
While Canada has a lot fewer shootings than its U.S. neighbour, there has been a major increase in gun violence in recent years.
The number of shootings in Toronto more than doubled between 2014-2017, according to police findings.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered his support to victims and called the people of Toronto ‘strong, resilient and brave.’
My thoughts are with everyone affected by the terrible tragedy on the Danforth last night in Toronto, and may the injured make a full recovery. The people of Toronto are strong, resilient and brave – and we’ll be there to support you through this difficult time.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) July 23, 2018
The Prime Minister has been fighting for stricter background checks. However, debates regarding gun laws continue to cause controversy in Canada.
Our thoughts go out to all affected by the shooting.